From 1953 to 2000

On March 22, 1953, a group of seventeen men, many of whom were property owners along the Cooley Canal, met at the Clearwater Fish Company. They had a mutual interest in the improvement of the canal, the protection of the Cooley Canal property, and the development of the community, all for the benefit of boating and fishing. Thus Cooley Canal Sportsman Club (CCSC) was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio on August 24, 1953. Charles H. Russ was elected as the first President.

During those early years, meetings were held at the Jerusalem Township Hall. Club membership grew to over three hundred and CCSC gained membership in the League of Ohio Sportsmen and the Associated Yacht Clubs of Toledo. Each summer the Club played host to an Associated Yacht Club (AYC) Regatta by utilizing the private area called Lakemont Landing. Commodore Don Roadarmel was active in the formation of the Western Lake Erie Cruising Association.

In 1957 the Club bought a building as the comer of Corduroy and Coffee Road. It was originally used as an onion storage barn. Even though the building was over one hundred years old, the structure was still sound. A lot of hard work by Club members turned it into a fine clubhouse. A bar, kitchen, and large stone fireplace were installed. This made it possible for the Club to host many social events. Although the clubhouse was located one mile from Lake Erie and two and a half miles from any marina, the Club maintained the regattas and rendezvous with other clubs.

In 1964 Commodore Keith Davis was instrumental in changing the name from Cooley Canal Sportsmen Club to Cooley Canal Yacht Club (CCYC) to more accurately represent the primary interest and direction of the club.

In 1965 Commodore Norm Cedoz announced the purchase of a slip on Wards Canal for the purpose of club docking and future site of a new clubhouse. Docks were built immediately with the help of many club members.

Cooley Canal Yacht Club became a member of the Inter Lake Yachting Association (ILYA) in l967.

The new clubhouse was constructed in 1969 under the guidance of Commodore Art Kreger. The dedication ceremony was held in February of 1970.

In the Spring of 1980, after twelve years of negotiations between Commodore John Lehmann and the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Cooley Canal Yacht Club could say "Thanks" for the widening of the entranced of Ward Canal to Lake Erie. It was widened from 60 feet to 120 feet. A 420-foot riprap stone jetty was installed and a red light was placed at the end of the pier. This made the entrance to the canal a lot safer to navigate. Prior to the installation of the riprap stone jetty, the clubhouse had been flooded twice. Each time members had worked hard with shovels and mops to clean up the mess. The construction of the stone jetty eliminated this from happening again.

Between the years of 1968 and 1997 there were many small improvements made to the clubhouse. But in the spring of 1998, Commodore Gil Latz announced that after three years of planning a major expansion project was going to be started. The building was squared off, a second story was added, and the flat roof was changed to a peaked roof. Although the major construction was done by outside contractors, the inside finish work was completed by many dedicated members. Without their contributions, this project would not have been completed. Now on a clear day you can see West Sister Island and Perry's Monument from the upstairs room.

The Ladies Auxiliary has always been instrumental in the success of the club, from the first President, Georgia Mummert, to the current President. Their hard work and contributions have made Cooley Canal Yacht Club one of the finest clubs on Lake Erie. Cooley Canal Yacht Club has been very active in the AYC and the ILYA. Five AYC Commodores have been members of CCYC, starting with Jake Moritz in 1964, Art Kreger in 1976, Bill Knack in 1980, Dick Christy in 1985 and John Lehman in 1989. Keith Davis was the ILYA Commodore in 1976.

Today membership is limited to 250 active members. The 114 docks are full and there is a continual waiting list. Cooley Canal Yacht Club members cruise to many area clubs to join in their activities while maintaining an active participation in the Inter Lake Yachting Association (ILYA) and the Associated Yacht Club of Toledo.

Cooley Canal Yacht Club members all contribute working hours to the club each year. This helps to keep expenses down, maintain reasonable dues, dock fees, and bar prices, every member contributes to our founding philosophy. We are proud to be called "Cooley Birds".